Salesforce Extends Its Contact Center Portfolio

Salesforce Contact Center customers can now augment their service operations with new AI-driven capabilities

Salesforce Extends Its Contact Center Portfolio
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Last Edited: February 24, 2023

Charlie Mitchell

Salesforce has made new automation, AI, and analytics features available for users of its Salesforce Contact Center platform.

The prominent CRM vendor has coined the first “Einstein Conversation Insights.” Essentially, this uses AI to monitor issues across the contact center – such as an outage or dissatisfied customer – and alerts the supervisor.

Next is an “Identity Verification” feature, which – as the name suggests – supports contact center agents in verifying the customer’s identity using “automated workflows.”

Its new “Action Launcher” feature also harnesses automation. In doing so, it creates common query workflows – such as prepaid top-ups or address changes – which agents can trigger to service customers faster.

The final AI addition is a “Service Availability Check” feature, which allows agents to spot what is available when a customer wants to add or change a service with a quick address search.

Summarizing each of these new capabilities, David Fan, VP and General Manager of Communications at Salesforce, said:

Salesforce’s new solutions are tailored to help providers remove inefficiencies, deliver faster service, increase productivity with AI and automation, and deepen customer engagements to provide differentiated experiences with every interaction.

Further additions include a WhatsApp integration alongside features named “Order Fulfillment Date Predictions” and “Order Delay Predictions.”

Both the latter innovations harness predictive analytics. The first recommends expected fulfillment dates. Meanwhile, the second identifies orders likely to be delayed due to issues such as an incorrect date, giving managers time to correct the information and suggest a new fulfillment date.

What Is The Salesforce Contact Center?

The Salesforce Contact Center combines Service Cloud with omnichannel routing to give businesses the base capabilities to run a contact center.

Companies can also implement Service Cloud Voice, self-service portals, chatbots, messaging channels, and feedback management tools as add-ons over the top.

Now, it has added many more capabilities to that list, hoping to build a “one-stop shop for contact centers.”

However, Salesforce entered the CCaaS space in a somewhat subdued manner. It is not vowing to make a big play in the market and challenge the likes of NICE, Genesys, and Talkdesk.

Perhaps this is because the solution will mostly resonate with SMBs, as it must push its portfolio and market expertise much further to handle large-scale CCaaS implementations.

Indeed, Mike Burkland, CEO of Five9, recently discussed the immense complexity of enterprise CCaaS deployments, especially regarding voice and integration, during an earnings call.

In doing so, he noted how that might stall the progress of new market entrants, referring to Microsoft and possibly Salesforce too. Burkland stated:

A lot of folks believe they can enter the space very quickly, and it takes them a lot longer than they anticipate… Some of them enter, realize how difficult it is, and exit, and others stick with it.

Moreover, Salesforce is likely stepping cautiously into the CCaaS space as it partners with all the current market leaders. As such, it likely wants to prevent these partners from fleeing and supporting other CRM vendors.

Nevertheless, Salesforce is putting the stepping stones in place to grow its presence in the market, which has long been an obvious adjacent play.

Also, while it may not attract massive business from the get-go, in the long run – as Salesforce evolves its portfolio further – it has immense potential in the contact center market.

After all, many will likely enjoy the prospect of working with a single vendor for CCaaS and CRM – and Salesforce is the runaway leader in CRM.

According to the IDC, it outsells its closest competitor – Microsoft – by almost four solutions to one.

As such, while Salesforce may not be banging the contact center drum too loudly for now, that may well change as its CCaaS innovation starts to rachet up.



AI in the Contact CentreArtificial IntelligenceCCaaSCRMSalesforce

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